The Soul Express Album of the Month

June - July 1999

NORMAN CONNORS
MELANCHOLY FIRE: THE BEST OF NORMAN CONNORS
Razor & Tie, 1999
1) You Are My Starship 2) Betcha By Golly, Wow 3) Valentine Love 4) Stella 5) Wouldn't You Like to See 6) Listen 7) Butterfly 8) This Is Your Life 9) Everything I Have Is Good 10) Handle Me Gently 11) Invitation 12) Take It to the Limit 13) Melancholy Fire 14) Justify 15) You Bring Me Joy 16) Everywhere Inside of Me 17) She's Gone 18) I Am Your Melody

As soon as I saw the title of this CD my attention was grabbed!!! I have always wanted Melancholy Fire on CD, and I am eternally grateful for Razor & Tie for releasing this extremely competent and essential compilation. For SERIOUS Connors fans this CD goes the whole nine yards. Of course, the more familiar tunes are here, You Are My Starship, and Betcha By Golly Wow for starters (and why not?) as well as some beloved favourites that span the era 1975 - 1988.
This Is Your Life, Listen and Wouldn't You Like to See are warming inclusions, but I would say that the most important cuts on here are the breathtaking Glenn Jones led vocal Melancholy Fire and the sophisticated Everywhere Inside of Me featuring Leon Ware on vocals. Melancholy Fire is what I deem a timeless, undeniably soulful classic - a track that defines how special our music is, and how perfect it can be.
Furthermore, if you fell in love with Leon Ware's musical style on his Rockin' You Eternally set, then you will definitely want to own this record. The soulful Beau Williams is exceptional on She's Gone and so is the late, great Spencer Harrison on 1988's I Am Your Melody. Other soulful artists to savour on this set are a veritable who's who when we get down to CLASS: Michael Henderson, Phyllis Hyman, Pharoah Sanders, James Robinson, Eleanor Mills, Miss Adaritha and Jean Carn.
As far as compilations go (especially with this gentleman) I honestly couldn't imagine a better or more interesting compilation. Please do not allow this corker to disappear - it is far too essential.

- Barry Towler

Other albums of the Month in 1999
Albums of the Month in 1998
Albums of the Month in 1997

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